"Protection" is Now Main Reason For Gun Ownership, Despite Dramatic Drop in Crime RatesOkay, so if I buy a gun for self protection, and then criminals leave me alone, that's contradictory, and you think you have to go find an explanation other than "protection"?
A recent Pew poll [found here] has found that the number one reason for gun ownership is that of protection. This differs from 1999, when hunting was the most common explanation for possession of firearms. Despite this change, crime has decreased across the country as a whole during the same period. Taking into account these seemingly contradictory, facts, the changing climate of gun-ownership must surely be influenced by other factors.
Sigh. Maybe if you found some "diverse" friends, including maybe someone who owns a gun, he can explain it to you.
I was checking the Pew paper to see whether a bunch of new people had bought guns, or if gun owners have just changed their public rationale. The odd thing is, the Pew paper doesn't discuss the change in ownership, either numerically or as percentage of the public. There are other odd things about the Pew's presentation of the results - some items are compared to 1993, others to 1999. Why do you suppose that is? I would expect that it results from the political bias of the Pew.
I did find some other, pretty nonspecific graphs From what I can tell, the total percentage is roughly the same, so the number of gun owners has gone up by roughly 20-25% over the last 14 years.
From a guess, it looks to me like about 6-8 million citizens changed their reason from hunting to protection, and another 10-12 million citizens bought guns for protection, either from criminals or from some theoretical future government.
While I was looking for the mysteriously omitted missing information, I found this article by John Lott over at Imprimis:
In January 2002, a shooting left three dead at the Appalachian Law School in Virginia. The event made international headlines and produced more calls for gun control. Yet one critical fact was missing from virtually all the news coverage: The attack was stopped by two students who had guns in their cars.Interesting stuff. I also found an article at Mother Jones on all the mass and spree killers in the last 20 years. Did a quick statistical analysis on what's going on - looks like 2000-2003, under George Bush, were anomalously low. Remember 9/11? Major drop in wackos - probably largely due to a major increase in vigilance among the populace. Take out that drop, and the average is pretty flat at 3 per year.